“Help! How do I match a paint colour?”

A lot of us have been here before. Whether you are just trying to do touch ups, or you forgot what colour you painted, chances are you’ve wondered if there is a way to match a paint colour.

At Erin Mills Paint & Décor Centre we pride ourselves on the ability to match with success just about any colour you bring to us. All we need is a sample of what you would like matched.  

The most ideal sample would be a clean paint chip the size of a toonie, with little to no sheen, no texture, not metallic, and with a solid coat of paint. Always remember, the better the sample, the better the match.

 The most ideal paint sample is the size of a toonie.

The most ideal paint sample is the size of a toonie.

Once you bring us the sample, we can begin with a few different methods. We can check manually to see if your colour matches any of our colours from our full colour library, we can scan the colour using a spectrophotometer, or we can have a senior colour match specialist create a custom match. Some colours might require using all these methods to achieve a match.

 Looking through the colour library.

Looking through the colour library.

A spectrophotometer is a device that's hooked up to a computer and measures color electronically. There's a port on one end that shines a light on a paint chip sample and then takes a very detailed reading of each wavelengths of light reflected off the sample.

From that reading the program creates a formula by calculating the exact amount of tint needed to achieve a colour match.

Most of the time this works well and is a real time saver, however, sometimes a colour needs to be adjusted after the reading and that’s where a colour match specialist is a big help. The specialist will see whether that colour needs to be darkened or lightened, needs to be redder or more yellow, for example, and they will make the appropriate adjustments.

Sometimes people bring in photographs and magazine pages as their sample and although this may be a good place to start, it won’t produce a good match. Photographs and computer screens cannot display the same number of colours as the human eye can see so the colours will never be precise.

 Pictured is a page from a magazine with the exact colour chip placed on top to show how much they differ.

Pictured is a page from a magazine with the exact colour chip placed on top to show how much they differ.

Just as I said before, the better the sample, the better the match, but it takes time to achieve a great match. Often, I’m asked to make sure the colour match is “perfect” and then I’m given a 10-minute timeline. I of course would love to be able to guarantee every match “perfect” in 10 minutes or less but this just isn’t the case for every colour. 

 This is our finished result. There is a spot dried down in the middle of the sample.

This is our finished result. There is a spot dried down in the middle of the sample.

So whether you are looking to touch up a room that’s had some wear and tear, or match an unknown paint colour you’ve fallen in love with, drop by Erin Mills Paint & Décor Centre with your sample and watch our colour experts work their magic.